You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Hiring freeze leads to 800 Air Force Life Cycle Management Center job vacancies

A civilian hiring freeze has opened more than 800 job vacancies nationwide that the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has been unable to fill because of sequestration, a top Air Force commander said.

Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore, AFLCMC commander headquartered at Wright-Patterson, which has 150 openings, said the number of unfilled positions has “actually been growing because of the hiring freeze” and “puts greater stress” on workers still on the job.

Sequestration, or automatic budget cuts, could send about 12,000 of the center’s civilian employees home on unpaid furloughs for one day a week for 22 weeks. The lost productivity would equal 2.7 million hours and hit every program, he said. The center, which manages the acquisition, maintenance and sustainment of most Air Force weapons systems, has a workforce of about 26,000 people around the world.

In an interview with the Dayton Daily News, the three-star general talked about the impact of sequestration on maintaining and modernizing an aging fleet, and civilian employees, and a goal to reduce acquisition and maintenance “cycle times” by 20 to 30 percent.

While the Air Force attempts to buy new planes, a 10 percent rise in aircraft maintenance costs per unit the last three years has drawn money away from modernization, Moore said. The average Air Force aircraft is 25 years old.

In the interim, the Air Force has tried to keep old planes flying longer. The service branch will extend the lifespan of the A-10 ground attack jet and the F-16 fighter until the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can take over those roles in large numbers. The Air Force will replace the wings on the 1970s-era A-10s, and F-16s will receive “a number of structural upgrades,” he said.

Still, he said, even as the fleet ages it’s typically less expensive to keep an older aircraft flying than absorb the expense of a new aircraft. Air Force leaders have expected sequestration will cause a years-long maintenance backlog at aircraft depots, however.

“It’s kind of a two-edge sword where we are delaying modernization and we’re impacting the sustainment of older systems under sequestration,” Moore said.

The full effect of sequestration isn’t yet known. Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, said congressional legislation passed last week gives the Defense Department more flexibility on spending cuts, but sequestration will still lop off about 9 percent across the board, except for military pay.

Under the latest legislation, Congressional lawmakers set aside $10 billion for maintenance and operations in the military. The Pentagon delayed sending out furlough notices last Friday, and won’t until April 5, to allow time to review how the spending legislation, signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, will affect the budget.

About 13,000 Wright-Patterson civilian employees face furlough notices in the days ahead.

“This does not eliminate the need for furloughs, but it will likely reduce the number of days civilian employees are furloughed,” Harrison said.

Along with modernization and acquisition, Moore said he’s concerned how deep budget cuts will hit the repair and replacement of infrastructure and how it will affect employee training and morale.

“When we talk about furloughing and causing a 20 percent reduction in pay over a six-month period for our government civilians, I think that may cause people to start to question whether they are valued,” he said. “We work on state-of-the-art systems and we need the best and brightest.”

The Life Cycle Management Center consolidated the former Aeronautical Systems Center, electronics, armaments and foreign military sales programs. The center has employees at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Gunter Annex at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, among other places at 77 locations worldwide.

Realigned priorities have led to a “geo-agnostic” attitude “without zip codes” that doesn’t consider where a program is located or where someone works but with attention on missions, Moore said. The center has focused on the key tenets of speed with discipline in weapons development and product support, unity of purpose and building trust and confidence, the general said.

“Not all acquisition and product support responsibilities are created equal and I understand that there are often criticisms of how we do our business, but I will tell you that there are ample opportunities for us to get better and I believe that we have an organization right now that’s going to facilitate that,” he said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Military

Wright-Patt gate to close as part of security upgrade
Wright-Patt gate to close as part of security upgrade

Thousands of Wright-Patterson employees will need to find a new way into work beginning Monday when the heavily trafficked National Road gate closes for several weeks because of a $1.3 million security upgrade. The upgrade is part of millions of dollars in planned improvements designed to thwart unwanted intruders. Gate 19B off National Road draws...
Troopers find Humvee stolen from Ohio National Guard armory
Troopers find Humvee stolen from Ohio National Guard armory

A military Humvee stolen from the Ohio National Guard Armory in Stow was found Friday night in a garage at a vacant house. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said tips from the public led troopers to find the vehicle. No arrests have been made, and the theft remains under investigation, the patrol said. A military Humvee was stolen from the Ohio National...
Former Navy SEAL tells Springfield men how he found his faith
Former Navy SEAL tells Springfield men how he found his faith

A retired U.S. Navy SEAL and author said one night at church saved him from himself. Chad Williams served in that branch of the military from 2004 to 2010. He spoke in Springfield to The Gathering on Wednesday morning, saying he decided to become a SEAL to mature, make an impact and not be an “Average Joe,” despite his family’s objections...
Daily News reporter wins national award
Daily News reporter wins national award

In January 2015, Dayton Daily News reporter Barrie Barber, NewsCenter 7 anchor Cheryl McHenry and videographer Bob Garlock went on a 12,000-mile journey with a crew from the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The result was a series of stories showing the challenges of performing patient care at high altitudes and the dangers endured...
Hometown Vet: Springfield native learned discipline in Army
Hometown Vet: Springfield native learned discipline in Army

Hometown Veterans is a weekly feature profiling Clark and Champaign County veterans. This week the Springfield News-Sun profiles Joseph M. Spangler. Name: Joseph M. Spangler Hometown: Springfield Current Residence: Springfield Family: Proud grandfather to three granddaughters and seven grandsons, all living in Arizona. Career After the Military: Machinist...
More Stories